Structured block placements of hospital pre-registration trainee pharmacists in primary care medical practices across the United Kingdom: Lessons from a pilot scheme

Maria Christou, Gill Shelton, Meb Walji, Hannah Kinsey, Hattie Whiteside, David Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: There is increasing demand for suitably trained pharmacists to under- take clinical roles in primary care general practices across the United Kingdom. This necessitates development of sustainable training opportunities to both better prepare future registrants for such roles and raise awareness of the new career pathway.
Educational activity and setting: Hospital pre-registration trainee pharmacists undertook four or eight-week placements in general practice as part of their training year. Trainees attended an introductory session and received educational support tools six weeks prior to their placements. Each trainee had an allocated clinical supervisor in general practice and maintained communication with their hospital tutor. On completion of all placements, trainees and general practice staff were asked to share perceptions and outcomes via online questionnaires.
Findings: Most trainees reported that the clinical supervision arrangements were satisfactory and found the placement workbook useful for guiding daily activities. Key benefits from the placements included enhanced understanding of the patient journey across healthcare sectors, increased confidence, and raised awareness of general practice as a career option. Main limitations included restricted opportunities to engage in patient-centred activities and lack of integration with general practice teams. All trainees stated that the presence of a general practice pharmacist was essential for learning support.
Summary: This model demonstrated the feasibility of structured block placements of trainee pharmacists in general practice with identified benefits for trainees and pharmacy workforce requirements.
Future research: Identified key limitations to this model need further investigation, to improve the design of future placements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-311
Number of pages10
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
Early online date1 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Pre-registration pharmacists
  • Placements
  • Primary care
  • Clinical supervision
  • Experiential learning

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